Resort theatre chosen as Shakespeare flagship

Blackpool Grand Theatre is working with the Royal Shakespeare Company as one of five national education partners.

Blackpool Grand Theatre is working with the Royal Shakespeare Company as one of five national education partners.

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TO be or not to be? That was the question hanging over Blackpool’s Grand Theatre.

Thankfully it was to be for the resort’s popular theatre, as the world famous Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) chose it as one of five national education partners.

The theatre is now looking forward to working with schools and young people across the Fylde coast to offer them the chance to learn about the Bard with some of the country’s top actors.

John Topping, deputy headteacher at Bispham High School and Performing Arts College, said: “We’re very excited about this.

“I’m sure our young people, certainly in upper school, if the same plays are on that they are studying, will see it as enriching.”

Managers at the theatre hope to meet with schools and young people, who have little access to the RSC and Shakespeare, in coming weeks.

Organisers say the programme offers schoolchildren the chance to learn about Shakespeare in the classroom, artist-led projects and performance opportunities.

The three-year project will see the RSC’s Young People’s Touring Production and a range of theatre and arts projects visit the theatre and will culminate in a special Shakespeare Festival in the final year.

Stuart Hampton-Reeves, director of the Grand Theatre Trust and chairman of the British Shakespeare Association, said: “This is a hugely important partnership for The Grand in our aspiration to bring the very best in performing arts to the area.

“The programme aims to make Shakespeare more accessible for those children and families who would not usually have access to quality drama.

“It is hard to think of a more deserving community in England.”

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